Liquid crystals were observed by the Austrian botanist Friedrich Reinitzer (1857–1927) in 1888. He noticed that the solid organic compound cholesteryl benzoate became a cloudy liquid at 293°F (145°C) and a clear liquid at 354°F (179°C). The following year, the German physicist Otto Lehmann (1855–1922) used a microscope with a heating stage to determine that some molecules do not melt directly but first pass through a phase when they flow like a liquid but maintain the molecular structure and properties of a solid. He coined the phrase “liquid crystal” to describe this substance. Further experimentation showed that if an electrical charge is passed through a liquid crystal material, the liquid will line up according to the direction of the electrical field. Liquid crystals are used for electronic panel displays.